What is Brand Management?
If your company is a person, then its brand is their personality. Its how they engage with people, how they come across, how they enter someone’s life. That first and lasting impression is oh so important within business.
Brand management is the development of the brand and product value to build a community of loyal customers. To achieve this, successful brand management builds positive associations and raises brand awareness to influence customer engagement.
Why is it important?
Making a business or a product stand out in the market is key to creating brand affinity with its customers. A brand that is established and continues to maintain its image, supports a consistent brand message, aligns with new brand products and is effectively positioned in the market holds a competitive edge within the market.
This competitive edge can lead to increased customer loyalty and acquisition through an increase in sales. It takes years to establish a brand, and when established, to remain competitive, tactics need to be infused with innovation and creativity to maintain the brand’s standing within the market.
What does a Brand Manager do?
A brand manager brings the company and its products to life, makes the intangible tangible whilst looking after the tangible elements like price, packaging, colours, typography and products.
Making a brand memorable, easy to recognise and reliable to its customers is part of a brand managers’ role. They will be responsible for monitoring the customer’s experience and their emotional connection with the product or service. This will create brand equity.
Once the brand is established, building a product or service line that fits underneath the company’s brand is paramount to maintaining a strong market position. This evolution needs to keep the company’s target market in mind during product conception and ideation. This ongoing innovation will sustain a brand’s quality and gain more brand affinity with its customers without leaving way for competitors to take the top spot.
What is Brand Equity?
Brand equity is the added value to the product that increases the price. It is the value that customers are willing to pay for to acquire the brand, product, or their service. For example, Apple has such a strong brand within the market that influencers will pay above market price for the new phone, or accessory, because it identifies their association with the brand. Customers are willing to pay more for Airpods rather than other headphones with the same value which demonstrates Apple’s high brand equity.
Skills of a Brand Manager
A brand manager would be expected to have:
Core understanding of market trends and flashes in the pan
Attention to Detail
Team working capability
Time and Project Management
The Future of Brand Management
Customers in today’s market want to feel like part of a brand. There is a sense of belonging and a sense of community that derives from the influence of consumer experience and the re-rise of experiential marketing. A brand manager that understands the impact of social media on a company’s bottom line and ensures that the business is not only present but prevails on the relevant channels will find success. These channels need to be used to connect to a customer emotionally, to create those positive associations, and elevate a brand beyond its product by creating that brand equity.
The ever-changing nature of social media and the development of the technology behind these platforms means that a brand manager cannot simply rely on a single audience strategy, these are fluid platforms and a brand needs to move with the be and flow of market trends to really position itself front and mind through creative innovation.